Maslowska, E., Van den Putte., B, & Smit, E. G. (2011). The effectiveness of personalized e-mail and the role of personal characteristics. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 14, 765-770. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0050

Abstract: Personalizing communication means creating persuasive messages that refer to aspects of a person’s self. Although the use of personalization is increasing, research on its effectiveness is limited and the results are mixed. This study examined the persuasiveness of personalized e-mail newsletters in terms of increased attention, cognitive activity, evaluation, attitude, intention, and behavior by means of an experiment (n = 109). Participants randomly received either a personalized or a generic newsletter advertising a sports center. Personalization triggered a more positive evaluation of the message; however, it did not influence the other effect variables. The effects were moderated by consumers’ need for uniqueness, trust, and privacy concerns, suggesting that personalization is a good strategy to increase message evaluation only among individuals who have a high need for uniqueness.